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Republic Airways Increases Majority Stake

Mokulele Airlines gets US$7.5M investment

Aug 04, 2009

Mokulele Airlines has opened its new corporate headquarters and maintenance facility at Honolulu International Airport, one day after Indianapolis-based Republic Airways increased its majority stake in the local carrier.

Mokulele and Republic officials held a blessing for the office and 13,000-square-foot hangar on Kaulele Place off Lagoon Drive on the south side of Honolulu International Airport. The 4,400-square-foot office building, which includes executive offices and reservation operations, becomes the new headquarters for the airline, which previously was based in Kona.

Meanwhile, Republic officials said they have invested an additional US$7.5 million in Mokulele, raising Republic's stake to 89 percent in the local carrier.

Republic and Mokulele formed a partnership last fall, with Republic providing four Embraer 170 jets and crew, along with an US$8 million loan. In March, Republic took a 50 percent ownership stake in Mokulele and replaced its chief executive officer after Mokulele fell behind on loan payments. Republic now has nearly US$20 million invested in Mokulele, said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president, and CEO of Republic, on an earnings conference call last Thursday.

Separately, Republic yesterday said it has completed its acquisition of privately held Midwest Airlines for US$31 million in cash and debt. Republic officials said Midwest will continue to operate as a branded carrier.

Republic Airways Holdings also has made a bid to buy the parent of Frontier Airlines, which is operating under bankruptcy protection. While a court has approved that deal, Southwest Airlines recently made a rival bid for Frontier. An auction is expected to be held in August.

Mokulele Airlines gets US$7.5M investment
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